Labour holds on to Washington East seat in by-election to replace Neville Padgett

Coun. Neville Padgett
Coun. Neville Padgett
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LABOUR candidate Tony Taylor has taken the seat vacated by disgraced party colleague Neville Padgett in Sunderland City Council’s Washington East by-election

Coun Taylor took home 775 votes, ahead of the runner-up, Conservative Hilary Johnson, at 595 votes.

Following closely behind the Tory came UKIP’s Alistair Baxter, with 506 votes.

Green Party candidate Tony Murphy received 93 votes, while Liberal Democrat Stephen O’Brien came last at just 52 votes.

A meagre 23.4 per cent turned out to vote – 2,026 people put of a total electorate of 8,672.

Former ward councillor Neville Padgett announced he was standing down in October, citing ‘health reasons’

The news came after he had previously taken flak over claiming more than £26,000 in expenses in just two years.

It emerged late last month that Mr Padgett has been ordered to repay some of the money, but it has not yet been revealed how much.